Day 4: “Desiderata” by Max Ehrmann

On the fourth day of Sundaze, the bad ass bitches at The Sundaze presented us with…

There’s not much to say about “Desiderata” by Max Ehrmann. Not much needs to be said about “Desiderata.” Written in the 1920s, it’s message and political and cultural neutrality remain as relevant, if not more relevant, than ever. It’s a simply written prose poem that speaks leagues of truth on how to live a positive and fulfilling life. I think it’s important to read everyday (I do, it was a huge motivation for me to delete my Facebook), but it’s especially important this time of year when, not only is everyone planning their “New Years’ Resolutions” (sarcasm quotes intended), but also at a time when stress is high and sometimes tempers flare for no good reason at all. Use this poem and it’s gentle positivity to keep you grounded and remind you that there is always good in the world. (Bonus recording of Tom Hiddleston reciting it, trust me, you’ll want to listen to it, again, and again, and again…).


 

 

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
And remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender,
Be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
And listen to others, even the dull and ignorant;
They too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
They are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
You may become vain and bitter;
For always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble;
It is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
For the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
Many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical about love;
For in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
Gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
No less than the trees and the stars;
You have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
No doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
Whatever you conceive Him to be,
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
In the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be careful.
Strive to be happy.

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